Tag Archives: Shawn Simon

Thanks to Those Who Wrote a Testimonial for My Blog!

Joan Y. Edwards, Jan 11, 2023
Joan Y. Edwards, 2023

“Thanks to Those Who Wrote a Testimonial for My Blog!” by Joan Y. Edwards

Thank you to each of you who wrote a testimonial for my blog. I am very honored. You touched my heart. Please read what they had to say. I also put links to their websites and/or books. 

My hope is to inspire you to never give up on you…no matter what…live, love, write, illustrate, work, share.  Here’s what caring readers like you say about my Never Give Up blog, January 2023 in alphabetical order! I am filled with love and thankfulness. It fills me with joy to hear from you. I treasure these  testimonies and each of you in my heart. Subscribe to My Blog

Dr. Bob Rich

Dr. Bob Rich
Bobbing Around blog

     “I have a scale of spiritual maturity. At the bottom are infant souls. You recognize them from a complete lack of empathy.
Then there are toddlers. Their three key words are ‘No!’ ‘ Why?’ and above all, ‘Mine!’ Because of this, unfortunately, they run the world.
At the other end are mature spirits who find compassion, cooperation, empathy, decency to be natural. Their joy is to benefit others, not because it is expected, or because of some payoff, but because that’s just the way they are.
Joan is one of these mature spirits. Regardless of her circumstances or personal tragedies, she is always there for anyone and everyone. Read her blog if you want to know what I mean.”


Carla Stack

     “I am a busy person working for a dental office and a consulting company. I first met Joan in the office where I work. And what a blessing Joan has been to me and others in our office! I do not always get to read Joan’s posts and blogs as much as I would like.  But when I do, I pause! And I am always reminded to count my blessings.  This morning I opened an email from Joan titled “Do You Need an Ego with a New Inner Critic and Encourager?”  What a blessing this was with me today.  A gentle reminder that God is a God of encouragement.  A reminder to change our inner critic voice to one of encouragement by using affirmations.  Thank you, Joan, for your beautiful, sweet soul and for your uplifting emails and blogs.”

******************** Carol Baldwin and her beta reader for Half-TruthsCarol Baldwin and Elliott Kurta, her beta reader for Half-Truths
Teaching-Story-Fiction-Writing-Grades 4-6
Carol Baldwin’s Blog

     “I enjoy Joan’s blog because she always looks to encourage her readers. I often leave with a smile on my face!”


Carolyn Howard-Johnson

Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author of fiction, poetry, and the multi award-winning #HowToDoItFrugally Series of books for writers.

“Expertise is the magical word when notified of Joan’s blog entries. I never miss an opportunity to learn something new.”

David Parle and Anna Verberg

David Parle and Anna Verberg
David’s books under Pen Name Roger Rapel

“Joan always has a smile, even in tragic times. Sometimes we all need a lift and a listening ear to help us through the sad times.
She has become a friend albeit electronic and we both know that we can contact each other.”


Gretchen Griffith

Gretchen Griffith, author of When Christmas Feels Like Home, Called to the Mountains: The Story of Jean L. Frese, and Lessons Learned: The Story of Pilot Mountain School

“Many times when I’ve felt discouraged about my writing, along came Joan Edwards with words to give me the encouragement I needed. I’ve followed her positive thinking blog for years and found it to be a valuable resource about using social media in a way that I can understand.


Jeff Morrill

Jeff Morrill
Profit Wise: How to Make More Money in Business By Doing the Right Thing

     “Thanks to Joan’s blog, I ended up with a publishing contract with TCK Publishing after reaching out to many of the publishers I found on this post: https://www.joanyedwards.com/50-publishers-who-accept-unsolicited-manuscripts/
Without preexisting fame, it is very difficult to get a book published. Lots of hard work and a high capacity for rejection are necessary but not sufficient—it’s also important to know who might be looking for a particular manuscript. Thanks, Joan, for doing the hard work of gathering and sharing this useful information!”

Joan Leotta Joan Leotta
Feathers on Stone

     “Joan’s blog is always a good read! I find inspiration for my day in the assortment of contemporary and classical poetry she offers. So, when she started to send me notices of her blog, I immediately clicked to read. The blog is a delightful collection of wisdom–sometimes a reminder of helpful tips, like the recent blog on home fire extinguishers, or the ins and outs regarding ghostwriting. Other times, her blog is the springboard for a deep dive into thoughts about issues such as the need to consider all possibilities life offers or the need to use our inner critic to also encourage ourselves. I like the mix of offerings. Her blogs are like fine chocolate–always good, each one with a different delicious filling. I am always encouraged by her blog entries–to action (as with the fire extinguishers) and/or to reflection.”


Joan B. Reid

Joan B. Reid
Joyful Passage-A Woman’s Path to Retirement

“Joan Y. Edwards blog is inspiring and positive.  Several posts have lifted my thoughts and made me feel better. 👍”


Jo Ann Mathews

Jo Ann Mathews
 Women in Adversity Book Series
Jo Ann’s Blog

     “Joan Y. Edwards hits the mark with her blog “Never Give Up.” She encourages people to brush aside the clouds and see the sunshine. Her recent post ‘Consider All the Possibilities’ is an example. She walks the reader through steps to move forward from a dilemma and ‘get out of that box.’ Everyone faces situations that don’t appear to have an answer. Joan’s blog offers suggestions on how to solve that dilemma.”


Joy Moore, Author

Joy Moore
Joy’s previous published works includes, Wiggle-Wiggle, Scratch-Scratch-, Itch-Itch-Itch with Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and many magazine articles and poems. Joy’s website: http://www.word-painting.com

Your encouragement to submit my manuscript has led to my signing a contract. I love the process of writing. I hate the process of researching a publisher and sending it out. When I signed up to use your plan to submit my manuscript, I knew it was what I needed to get me going. Just as you have said so many times, it did lead to something. So that is what I want to tell you I appreciate the most, because nothing would have happened for me if I hadn’t followed the advice.


Karen Tomas

Karen Tomas, past columnist for the Fort Mill Times 

 “Joan Y. Edwards’ Never Give Up blog is totally addictive. You can’t read just one!!!”


Karen Cioffi

Karen Cioffi, Article Writing Doctor and Online Platform Instructor

“Joan’s Never Give Up Blog offers great information on writing. It’s obvious that she puts a great deal of effort into each post and it’s a blog I value. Along with information, Joan offers encouragement and insights related to the writing world. So, join me and the many others who benefit from reading Joan’s posts.”


Linda Gutheil

Linda Gutheil
Linda’s Blog

     “I visit Joan’s blog to see what she’s got to say and share. Before I even knew Joan well, her blog led me to know that she loved to share helpful tips with others. She’s always been kind to share links to articles that are helpful to writers and people just needing a new or more positive outlook on life. She also has a creative approach in the way she looks at things. She shares from the heart and tells personal experiences and stories that have teachable moments. I can’t imagine my life without Joan in it. She makes my life rich and full. I’m also blessed to call her my best friend. She’s a real treasure.          Thanks for always being there for me.”


Mary Lash with scarf

Mary Lash
A Roller Coaster Down, Love and the TSA and The Desert Murders: How Junk Science, Witness Contamination, and Arizona Politics Condemned an Innocent Man

 “Never Give Up is like a good friend. With characteristic generosity, Joan Edwards offers helpful information and insights with each post. Reading her blog never fails to encourage and inspire me.”


Melanie Robertson-King

Melanie Robertson-King

     “Joan’s blog is a wealth of information, inspiration, and motivation. I subscribe to it via email to know when something new has been posted. Not all topics interest me, but I take the time to read all the posts. I’ve learned and shared (through the comments) many things since I first discovered her wonderful blog.”


Sandra Warren
Sandra Warren, author of Obsessed By A Promise, We Bought A WWII Bomber, and twelve other books written in multiple genres. 

     “Have a social media question? Scroll through Joan’s blog for the answer. Invariably, you’ll find it there among her many blog posts. Joan is the “go-to” gal for social media know how. Plus, if you ask a question she can’t answer, she’ll research it until she understands and then, not only share it with you, but also the world.
     Feeling down and discouraged with your writing or life in general? Joan laces inspirational tidbits guaranteed to lift your spirits throughout her blog.”


Shawn Simon

        Shawn Simon
Stepping into a New Role: Stories from Stepmoms

“Joan’s blog is inspirational and encouraging. She will get you thinking about the good in life and will give tips for reframing life’s challenges. Visit regularly for a dose of positivity!”


Cathy and Thurman Bruffey
Cathy and Thurman Bruffey

Thurman Bruffey

“From the start I want to say Joan is my first cousin. All of us who read Joan’s blogs know how incredibly knowledgeable Joan is.
I have been a fan of Joan’s writing since the first days of “Flip Flap  Floodle”.
I can tell you her elder care book was written from the heart and from first hand experience with her Mother, Ethel Meyer, my  Aunt.
Joan is always seeking input and doing in depth research to ensure her blog posts can be helpful to others. I highly recommend everyone to read her blog.”


Testimonials page: https://www.joanyedwards.com/testimonials/.

Subscribe to Joan’s blog for new articles of inspiration, information, and humor. Receive free 2 free gifts. Join 265 subscribers and over 1,908,000 visitors. Thank you.


Do something fun to celebrate you!

Never Give Up
Joan Y. Edwards
Copyright © 2023 Joan Y. Edwards

Flip Flap Floodle Will this little duck’s song save him from Mr. Fox?
Joan’s Elder Care Guide A guide to help caregivers and elders find solutions.

Shawn Simon, Author of Stepping into a New Role: Stories from Stepmoms

Stepping into a New Role: Stories from Stepmoms by Shawn Simon

“Shawn Simon, Author of Stepping into a New Role: Stories from Stepmoms” by Joan Y. Edwards

Today I  have the great pleasure of interviewing author, Shawn Simon.  Welcome, Shawn.

Thank you, Joan. It’s wonderful to be here with you. Congratulations to Sarah Maury Swan. She won a copy of my book by leaving a comment before midnight April 28, 2020.

That’s awesome. Thank you. We’ll put the details of the drawing after your interview. Everyone’s anxious to hear about you and your new book, “Stepping into a New Role: Stories from Stepmoms.” Let’s get started.

  1. Where were you born? Inglewood, CA (Yep, I’m an actual Southern California native. Lol

  2. Where was your favorite place to live as a child? I actually enjoyed living in our apartments in Santa Monica, CA. My brother and I played with all the kids who lived in apartments nearby. We like to say we grew up playing in the alleys behind the apartment buildings in Santa Monica.

  3. Did you have a favorite place to read a book as a child? Where and why? No particular favorite place, but I was definitely, and still am, a book worm. My dad and I were just saying the other day how this isolating time is probably much easier for avid readers. I have read so many books during these last few weeks.

  4. How do you keep yourself physically fit? I have three small dogs, so I walk them a few miles every day. I also take barre classes and I love Orange Theory, a newer cardio and strength training workout in our area.

  5. What do you do when you think about giving up? That’s a good question. What makes we want to give up is feeling over-whelmed. So, I try to chunk all I need to do into smaller sized pieces. If I break things down into manageable bites, so to speak, I can typically accomplish what I set out to do.

  6. Do you set goals for yourself as a writer? What helps you reach them? Do you reward yourself when you reach them? I do set goals for myself. I mark them in my calendar as my “to do list.” I also belong to three writing groups. We read to each other when we meet, so knowing I need to read a story keeps me accountable. I haven’t rewarded myself when I reach a goal, but I like that idea. I’ll have to think of a good reward.

  7. Do you consider yourself a risk taker? Why? In certain areas, yes. I think setting out to write a book, actually completing it, and then jumping through the hoops needed to get it published is all fairly risky. I’m proud of myself for reaching this milestone.

  8. If you go to an amusement park, which ride do you go to first? Which ride do you ignore at all costs? At my age, the only amusement park I like is Disneyland. I love the feel of Disney and the old rides, like Pirates of the Caribbean, the Haunted Mansion, It’s a Small World, etc. The rides I avoid are any that spin. Those make me sick every time.

  9. What is your favorite genre to write? Why? I love to write non-fiction inspirational stories. It started with writing my stories about my experiences as a stepmom, but when I met other stepmoms struggling with similar challenges, I thought, “Why not write their stories, too?” I enjoy talking with people and hearing their stories. It’s therapeutic and supportive. I think of my book as a stepmom support group in writing.

  10. What’s your favorite book? Why? Picking just one is hard. I suppose my favorite children’s book is Shiloh. I cry every time I read that one. A favorite classic is To Kill a Mockingbird. Three favorite newer books are The Fault in Our Stars, A Man Called Ove, and Don’t Let Me Go. I also love the Chicken Soup Series. I find the stories to be uplifting and inspirational. I liken my book to that series, except my stories are emotionally deeper. And they’ve never published one for stepmoms, so…

  11. When did you decide to become an author? I’ve always toyed with the idea of writing a book. But when I became a stepmom and shared my challenging experiences, I kept hearing, “You should write a book. Your stories are so inspirational.” I believe when you hear something several times, you need to listen. So, I listened.

  12. Please name Authors or Books that inspire you. As I said, the Chicken Soup books have inspired me. I also like reading memoirs, such as the heart-wrenching book, The Glass Castle.  My favorite fiction author is Catherine Ryan Hyde. I find her writing style to be refreshingly unique.

  13. Who or what has been the most help and inspiration to you as a writer? My husband has supported and encouraged me on this journey, believing in me every step of the way. My writer friends I’ve met have been an incredible source of positivity. All of my friends believed in me when I told them I planned to write a book. My pups are my muses when I write, snuggling in next to me, snoring lightly. Somehow that spurs my creativity.

  14. Stepping into a New Role, Stories from Stepmoms, your first book has been released by 4RV Publishing. Tell us the story behind your book. I foolishly thought being a stepmom would be easy because I work with kids. Kids love me. When I found myself single again at the age of thirty-eight, I figured I’d most likely meet someone with children. I never felt the need to have kids of my own, so I thought being a stepmom would be ideal. Did I mention it was a foolish thought? Step-mothering was not easy at all. Many factors never crossed my mind: the grief the kids felt due to their parents’ divorce, them not wanting another mother figure, me being further proof their parents would not be getting back together. None of those concerns entered my mind. When I looked for books to help, I found several self-help, academic type books, but I don’t care for books like that. I prefer stories from real people struggling with similar issues. I want to hear first-hand how they handled the challenges they encountered. I found no books with stepmom stories, so I decided to be the first to write one.

  15. How many places did you submit to before being successful? I think I queried around twenty-five agents and four publishers that do not require an agent.

  16. How long did it take to get it from submission to publication? That’s a good question. It took much longer than I expected. My contract tentative release date was February 2016. And here we are, four years later. However, I must say, I’m actually happy to have had the extra time. During these four years, I have joined many writing groups and have learned new writing techniques and styles, all of which have improved my writing. Because my book’s release was delayed so long, I was able to revise and edit several times before the publishing date. Had they not taken so long, I would not have been able to do so. My book is much better for having had the time.

  17. Tell us about the book cover.

Stepping into a New Role: Stories from Stepmoms by Shawn Simon

The book cover was designed by Aidana Willow-Raven from 4RV Publishing. I love that it is not academic looking, that it’s more fun and playful. To me this reflects the style of the book. The cover relates to the first story that launched the book.

  1. Links to purchase Stepping into a New Role, Stories from Stepmoms: The best price is from 4RV directly, but it is available on my website, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble, as well.

Purchase at:

  1. Shawn Simon’s website: StepmomShawn.com,

  2. Amazon https://www.amazon.com/Stepping-into-New-Role-Stepmoms/dp/1940310962/

  3. Barnes and Noble https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/stepping-into-a-new-role-shawn-simon/1136816236?ean=9781940310954

19. Are you writing other books? Tell us about them. I’ve already written a book for stepdads that needs to be edited and revised.  I’m also working on a second book for stepmoms. In addition, I’ve just started working on a book about people with differences. I was born with one arm, so I know what it’s like to feel odd and left out. From working with kids with learning differences, I realized their stories are similar to mine. This prompted me to include all kinds of differences in this book, which will be a similar style to my step-parenting books. It will include my stories as well as the stories from the people I interview. My goal is to shed light on people identified as different in the hopes of helping the world see we are more alike than we realize.

20. What has been the most exhilarating moment as a writer, so far? Seeing my book on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and on the 4RV site. Even better, holding my book in my hand. It’s quite an accomplishment to go from thinking about writing a book to actually completing it. And then having it published feels pretty darn good. 

  1. Do you outline and plan your plot first or let the characters develop their own plot as you write? Since I’m writing true stories about people’s experiences, the stories unfold from what they share. I record the interviews and then transcribe them to help with the process. Some people hand me gift-wrapped stories just in their telling. They are naturally gifted story tellers, which makes my writing process easier.

  2. How do you know your manuscript is ready for submission to an editor or agent? That’s tough to answer because as writers we never feel our manuscripts are ready to submit. But I’d say it is essential for the manuscript to be well edited before submitting, and I’d highly recommend the editing be done by someone other than the writer.

  3. Do you plan to self-publish or are you going the route of traditional publishing with an agent?  I’m not sure what my plans are for my next books. I did meet two agents at a writers’ conference who are interested in my differences book. I plan to follow up with both when I’m further along with the writing and when my book proposal is completed.

Shawn Simon, Author

About Shawn Simon

Shawn Simon, MA, is a Board Certified Educational Therapist who works with children. Therefore, when she met the man of her dreams, who just happened to come with a couple of kids, she thought being a stepmom would be a breeze. She was wrong. However, as someone born with only one arm, she’s learned to overcome obstacles. Thus, she knew she could face the challenges of step-mothering. Shawn is published in the Association of Educational Therapists’ Journal and is an award winning inspirational speaker in her field. She lives in Southern California with her husband, two step-kids, three rescue dogs, and one sixteen-year-old cat. Shawn is currently at work on more books for stepfamilies.

Website: https://www.stepmomshawn.com
Twitter @ShawnSimon44

Thank you for letting me interview you today, Shawn. Thank you to everyone who stopped by to talk with Shawn and me. 

Thank you to the 143 people who read this blog post. Three readers left a comment on Shawn Simon’s interview before midnight April 28, 2020:
1. Melanie Robertson-King
2. Sarah Maury Swan
3. Paulette Hannah

Random.org chose number 2, therefore, Congratulations, Sarah Maury Swan, you won a free copy of  Stepping into a New Role, Stories from Stepmoms! Hip Hip Hooray for all 3 commenters and those who read  Shawn’s interview.

Sarah, I will give Shawn your email address so she can get this book to you.

Be safe.
Stay well. 

Never Give Up
Joan Y. Edwards, Author
Copyright © 2020 Joan Y. Edwards

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